Monday, February 23, 2015
Wednesday, February 18, 2015
Lots of comments at fisheries meeting… just the way it should be
If you missed the meeting, it is not too late to comment as DEM has extended the public comment period. Written comments concerning the proposed regulations may be submitted to Peter Duhamel, Division of Fish and Wildlife Marine Fisheries office, 3 Fort Wetherill Road, Jamestown, RI 02835 no later than 12:00 Noon on February 26, 2015. Email all communications to firstname.lastname@example.org .
This proposal would have a great impact on the fish. Now a charter boat with six passengers, a mate and captain can take sixteen fish (this would still be the case with the RIPCBA proposal). However, Captain Donilon’s proposal would have that same vessel taking a maximum of nine fish, just one more than a private boat of eight fishermen and the fish are 32” rather than 28”. So in terms of conservation it could surpass the reduction value of the coastwide solution of one at 28”.
Rhode Island needs to reduce its black sea bass landings by one third. The solution that received the most support was one that started the season as early in June as possible with one or two fish and then increased the number of fish to five or seven in the fall. Both 13” and 14” fish should be considered.
More to come on these regulation options as they are reviewed and voted on by the RIMFC on March 2.
In an email to members the Rhode Island Marine Trade Association (RIMTA) said, “The proposed legislation would be effective at squeezing Middle America out of boating… it would put a strain on local budgets and to the entire community who will be asked to contribute more… it is adverse to our goals as an industry to increase boating and access to Narragansett Bay which contributes to our local economy and job creation.”
It is clear Rhode Island boaters and fishermen alike are keeping a close eye on this bill as many see it as a restriction to access to the water and fishing with such high mooring fees that would double and triple depending on the size of your boat and town regulations.
Monday, February 9, 2015
The Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission (ASMFC) winter meeting being held in Alexandria, Virginia this week will finalize many fishery management plan (FMP) recommendations for a variety of species we fish for in Rhode Island. The ASMFC develops management plans and regulations for summer flounder (fluke), winter flounder, Atlantic menhaden, striped bass, black sea bass, scup and other species that travel up and down the east coast.
The ASMFC approved one fish at a 28” minimum size for recreational anglers coastwide at their last meeting in 2014, this represented a 31% reduction in harvest. The 2013 striped bass stock assessment determined that the female spawning stock biomass (SBB) has continued to decline since 2004 and is estimated at 128 million pounds just above the SSB threshold of 127 million pounds, and below the SSB target of 159 million pounds. So something had to be done to curtail harvest. Last year anglers could take two fish at 28”.
Black sea bass is still problematic for the ASMFC. A new stock assessment is not scheduled to be available for use by fish mangers until 2016. Present data indicates that anglers are overfishing quotas yet private and commercial fishermen claim there are an abundance fish in our local waters.
Cross-country Skiing and Snowshoeing